Felt pretty good at the start
The first race of the season came and went. It was a good opening race but not as good as I wanted. First I’ll set up my mindset going into the race then go into a little bit about race day and all that. I did this race last year and it was like 60 and sunny; ya know spring weather. Welp, looking at the 10 day forecast it was looking like it was going to be like high 35 with 20-30 MPH winds. Ugh! That is not a good weather day for a PR. I kept checking the weather everyday to see what it would be like but not much change. My time goal coming into the race was 1:19. I picked that time because it would automatically qualify me for the New York City Marathon. I was not 100% sure I could get to that time but my training has been going amazing so far and I went 1:21 last year so I was going to give it a shot. So I was a bit disappointed in the weather because the cold is one thing but throw in cold and wind and that is just no good for a fast day.
So I wake up on Sunday AM and have my coffee, Bonk Breaker bars (toying around with my pre-race breakfast since I don’t eat much gluten anymore), then head to the race site. I was lucky that I have a small car and was able to park, literally, right near the start. I got there at like 7:10 for the 8:15 start so I picked up my packet then went back to my car to sit in the warmth. The day was not looking like a good day for that 1:19. My race plan going into the day was to ease into the race and start off running the first few miles 6:10-6:15, which is off pace for the 6:02 for the 1:19.
Yeah, the finishing stretch was brutal. Especially with the wind.
I get out of my car, head out for a little warm up jog to try to warm up my legs. The half marathon ran alongside a 10k, but I will get into that a bit later. Get to the start line and do the normal stand around for a few minutes and shake my legs nervously thing. Not much chatter at this start line and I am not usually talkative pre-race so that was ok with me. The “gun” goes off and we are off. I hoped to find some people running my pace so I could pace off of them and do a little drafting as well. I found a group of like 3-4 at the start but then they picked up the pace a little and I dropped back. I figured, “run your race”, but with the wind and the opportunity to pace off of other I quickly picked it up to catch up.
We ran together for the first 5 miles but it was not in a tight pack. They would surge a bit and I would hang back then they’d slow and I’d get ahead. Then the women I was running with and I dropped the other few people in the race and we were doing a good job of pacing each other. Then, here is where the 10k comes into play, right as I was about to ask her what time she was going for she made the 10k turn. DAMN! Now I am all alone.
Starting to kick it in a bit
So the rest of the race was me running all by myself, except for the few high school kids running the aid stations and telling us where to turn. I kept checking my watch and trying to calculate how far off pace I was. I told myself that once I hit mile 10 I would start to pick it up. Once I got there I looked at my watch and saw I had 18 minutes to cover that distance for the 1:19. Ok not too bad (well I miscalculated a little there and had less time). So I start to pick it up and I am GASED! I run the last 2 miles in 5:57 and 5:56. I am still in denial that I can get that time so I kick and kick and kick. I see someone ahead of me like 100 yards but I don’t really care about him since I am going for time. Then about 200 yards from the finish I see my watch hit 1:19. Damnit! Well still a PR but not what I wanted. I start to sprint it in and the other guy surges as well. We sprint next to each other but I edge him out at the end before my legs basically give out and I have to lean against the barrier to keep myself up.
Here is the Garmin file for my race if anyone wants to check it out. Chi-Town 1/2 Marathon Garmin Data
Results: 1:19:26, 5th Overall and 2nd AG (good for a PR)
Now time for a few more weeks of training then in 18 days it’s time to run the Boston Marathon!!!!